SEMINOLE – During an emotional report to the City Council at its June 10 meeting, City Manager Frank Edmunds announced he will retire in six months.
His last date on the job, after nearly 20 years as Seminole’s city manager, will be Jan. 16, 2015. Edmunds became Seminole’s first city manager in 1995 when the city changed the format of its government.
“Participation in local government service has been a great opportunity to serve others and in some ways make communities better,” he said. “I leave Seminole city government in a good place. With policy guidance from City Council, Seminole city government is financially sound, professional and enjoys the benefits of dedicated employees for a bright future.”
Edmunds, 63, said he has a grandson on the way and looks forward to spending more time with family “without the daily stresses and challenges that are synonymous with local government management.”
Though his retirement in 2015 has been widely known, he still caught the councilors off guard with his announcement.
“I’m speechless,” said Councilor Bob Matthews, who was part of the 1995 City Council that initially hired Edmunds. “Because this man has made our city and I apologize for the people who attack you, because ignorance is something you can’t fix.”
Mayor Leslie Waters told Edmunds, “Well, Mr. Edmunds you’ve given it a terrific run and your fingerprints are everywhere in this city. Everywhere I look, everything, it’s Frank Edmunds suggestions … guidance to the councils that have come before us.”
Several councilors credited Edmunds with keeping the city financially stable during the recent recession.
“I think it’s highly unusual that during tough economic times and the extended recession that we had that Mr. Edmunds and his exemplary staff were able to not only keep us from failing economically, but flourishing for most part,” said Councilor John Counts. “A lot of it is making those tough decisions, being able to read the tea leaves and also making sure he’s got the right people in place.”
Waters added, “I think our city is in terrific shape because of [his] leadership. I mean we’re fiscally in good shape. We haven’t had to go into debt. We don’t raise millage rates and our fire pension is healthy, very healthy … This is going to ripple across the community and rippling - maybe a tsunami I should say - for the next six months.”